Journal of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery Open Access

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Commentary Article - (2023) Volume 7, Issue 2

Rabies Reality Check: Safeguarding Dogs and Humans from a Virulent Foe
Carol Benign*
Department of Veterinary Sciences, University of Minnesota, USA
*Correspondence: Carol Benign, Department of Veterinary Sciences, University of Minnesota, USA, Email:

Received: 29-May-2023, Manuscript No. IPJVMS-23-17340; Editor assigned: 31-May-2023, Pre QC No. IPJVMS-23-17340(PQ); Reviewed: 14-Jun-2023, QC No. IPJVMS-23-17340; Revised: 19-Jun-2023, Manuscript No. IPJVMS-23-17340(R); Published: 26-Sep-2023, DOI: 10.36648/2574-2868.7.2.13


Rabies, a deadly viral disease, continues to pose a significant threat to both humans and animals worldwide. Among the various species affected, dogs remain one of the primary carriers of rabies, making it essential to comprehend the risks associated with the disease, its prevention, and treatment options. This article aims to shed light on the topic of rabies in dogs, emphasizing its significance and the measures that can be taken to mitigate its impact. Rabies is a zoonotic disease caused by the Rabies virus, which belongs to the Rhabdoviridae family. It primarily spreads through the bite or scratch of an infected animal, with the virus targeting the central nervous system. Once symptoms manifest, rabies becomes almost universally fatal in both humans and animals. Dogs are particularly susceptible to rabies due to their close interaction with humans, making them a potential vector for transmitting the disease to humans. The virus is typically transmitted through the saliva of an infected animal, primarily through bites. Upon entering the body, the virus travels along nerve pathways, gradually reaching the central nervous system. The incubation period varies but usually lasts between one to three months. During this time, the virus replicates silently, and no visible symptoms are apparent. As the virus progresses, symptoms become evident. Initial signs include behavioral changes such as agitation, irritability, and fever. Dogs may also experience difficulty swallowing, resulting in the characteristic symptom of excessive drooling. As the virus advances, neurological symptoms appear, including paralysis, disorientation, seizures, and aggression. Eventually, dogs infected with rabies may display a fear of water, a phenomenon known as hydrophobia, due to muscle spasms when attempting to drink. Given the dire consequences of rabies, prevention remains the most effective strategy. Vaccination is the cornerstone of rabies control in dogs. Puppies should receive their first rabies vaccine around 12 to 16 weeks of age, with booster shots administered annually or as recommended by a veterinarian. This not only protects dogs but also creates a barrier against the virus’s spread to other animals and humans. Furthermore, responsible pet ownership contributes to rabies control. Dogs should be kept on leashes and monitored when outdoors, reducing the likelihood of encounters with potentially infected wildlife. Stray dogs should be captured, vaccinated, and provided with proper care to minimize the risk of spreading the disease. Once clinical signs of rabies appear in dogs, the disease is almost always fatal. Due to the severity of the disease and the risks it poses to humans, there is no cure for rabies once symptoms manifest. Euthanasia is the recommended course of action for infected dogs to prevent their suffering and eliminate the risk of transmission. This underlines the critical role of vaccination and prevention, as once symptoms appear, the disease becomes a tragic inevitability. Rabies not only poses a threat to dogs but also to humans. In fact, dogs are often the source of rabies transmission to humans, accounting for the majority of cases worldwide. Bites or scratches from an infected dog can lead to severe illness and death in humans if left untreated. Thus, ensuring the vaccination of dogs not only safeguards their health but also protects the broader community. Rabies remains a grave concern for both dogs and humans, emphasizing the importance of vigilance and preventative measures.



Conflict Of Interest


Citation: Benign C (2023) Rabies Reality Check: Safeguarding Dogs and Humans from a Virulent Foe. J Veterinary Med. 7:13.

Copyright: © 2023 Benign C. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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